Friday, March 16, 2012

An Interview with Erin Newkirk, CEO + FOUNDER of Red Stamp

A little over five years ago, we met the incredibly talented founder of Red Stamp and we were smitten, we clicked from day one.  Erin Newkirk is not only whip smart and a major force to be reckoned with in the correspondence world, she’s also an amazing people person, has one keen eye for style and a gal anyone would love to call a friend.

We’re always excited to be working with Red Stamp and their fabulously talented team.  W
hile Red Stamp continues to focus on the large success of their social correspondence app, we have been passed the torch to continue offering their hugely popular personalized products exclusively via Paper + Ink Designs (along with some new collaborative things in the works...stay tuned!).

In case you didn’t know, Red Stamp has made one mighty mark in the app world. Their free correspondence app has been in good company with the likes of other apps such as Living Social, Nordstrom, Amazon, Groupon and Starbucks, all in the top twenty of free iPhone Lifestyle Apps from Apple.  They have been featured in/on the NY Times, NBC, MSNBC, Fast Company, InStyle, Oprah…to name just a few!

So we couldn’t think of a better person than CEO and Founder of Red Stamp, Erin Newkirk to kick off our new blog interview series where we will feature some of the best of the best in inspiring individuals.
We love this stuff! 

We are so impressed with your story, particularly the courage it takes to follow your passion and start something from scratch. What was the most exciting part about launching Red Stamp? The scariest part? 
Thanks, guys! Admiration runs both ways. :) Hmmm, hard to choose between moments since it usually tends to run exciting + scary/thrilling around here. But if I have to choose, the exciting part is holding a product in my hands that I needed/wanted/dreamed of and then co-created with an insanely amazing team. Scariest? Even as a well-funded small business, there are tight times. 2008 was a really scary time in business and in life. And when people began to downsize, we began to rethink our business to make sure we were a company that sold products people needed to have vs. solely nice to have.
We know your story will inspire other women to follow their dream. What advice do you have for them?
A wise woman once told me that owning your own business brings about the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Meaning that there is never just a ho-hum day. What’s key to thriving is having a high risk for tolerance, not sweating the small-to-medium stuff, and staying focused in good times and bad. If you feel like you are mentally up for the challenge, then the next important piece of advice is to bring something to this world that you are passionate about + that you feel no one else can do as well as you can. It can already be an existing business, but you need to have a twist that matters to lots of people.

Okay, let’s talk correspondence! Your amazing Red Stamp app is killing it. What made you decide to move exclusively into the app world?
Ever since we founded Red Stamp, our mission has been to make relationships stronger. In the beginning {2005} that meant greeting cards. In the middle that meant personalized correspondence on the web. And when mobile became a viable platform to build on, we knew we needed to be there. It was where our clients needed us the most -- to elevate their everyday correspondence. We released our first app in Jan 2011, learned what we needed to do to make it viable, released version two in September 2011 + quickly found that this was our calling. You can’t be all things to all people, this was what we are meant to do, so we officially pivoted in October of 2011.
In a world filled with texts, instant messaging, and social networks, what makes Red Stamp stand out? What do you attribute your app’s success to?
Our goal is to elevate the everyday correspondence. So when it comes to texting, social media + email, we are trying to elevate the creative of those quick shares by making them more special, more stylish, more graceful. Our goal is not to replace the handwritten note...we leave that to our friends at Paper + Ink. {wink, wink} And I think that’s what makes the app so successful. We are helping people feel good about the correspondence they are most comfortable sending.

We’re very excited Paper + Ink is your exclusive online reseller. We have always absolutely loved Red Stamp products and designs! Have you missed being online?
We are beyond thrilled to be working with Paper + Ink again! From the first moment we met, Tracy, I knew that you were a talented designer + lovely person. And I knew we HAD to work together. Five years later, when we left the web, it just felt right that you would be the partner that would carry our designs forward on the web. Thankfully, we don’t have to miss out on anything...because you have enabled our designs to be online. And we love cheering you on!

You’ve really stayed ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. Can you give us any sneak peeks into your plans for the future?
Sneak peeks...yes. We will continue to work with talented designers to bring their designs to mobile {wink, wink, Paper + Ink!} via premium collections. We will also continue to find new ways to help people manage their correspondence from their phone. Think invitations, announcements. We are also very excited about other mobile platforms. So many ideas, so little time...

Finally, we have to ask: What is your favorite occasion to send a card?
My favorite? I have to say the thank you note. Every thank you opens up the opportunity to tell someone how much they mean to you. It goes beyond the event itself. Between last minute dinner parties, great phone calls, weekends away, gifts, coffee dates, inspiration...I probably send about 2-3 thank you’s a day. Just quick notes that let people know that they have a fan. It’s fun to think of the world through the lens of a thank you note. Makes the every day seem extraordinary. 

{Stay tuned Monday for Part 2 of the interview where we get to know some fun, personal details about Erin}

See the Red Stamp App HERE
Shop the Exclusive Red Stamp for Paper + Ink Collection

1 comment:

  1. SUCH an honor to be included on your AMAZING blog! Thank you so much. I hope you know I felt the same way about you guys, too. From day one. Here's the making magic together! xxoo